Friday, February 12, 2010

LAT on Kim Yuna

As we inch centimeter closer and closer to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, expect more stories like this:
In 1988, the only other time the Winter Olympics were in Canada, Orser was the country's best hope for a gold medal. He won a silver, and Canada got no gold, making Orser want to apologize to the country.

Now he is Kim's coach, the one about whom South Korean newspapers have written, "Coach Orser is the savior." Said Kim's agent, Michelle Ha: "Brian is the most popular foreigner in Korea."

In four seasons with Orser, Kim, 19, has become far more than the first Korean figure skater of any renown. She is a superstar of such proportions that Seoul street caricaturists trying to lure customers display her image to show their skill.

No figure skater ever has been more celebrated in her home country than Kim is.

"I don't really know why [the Korean people] love me," Kim said. "Maybe it's because figure skating isn't just about who won, it's also artistic.
It's because you come across as cute and have an innocent air about you, you symbolize a hard-working ethic people admire, you represent Korean supremacy in something the whole world watches, and yeah, because figure skating is kinda cool to watch every four years.

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1 comment:

  1. “something the whole world watches.” Really???

    You come off like those promo people ABC employs for “Lost.” After last week’s episode that stated that “Lost” was the greatest phenomenon in television history. These fools must have forgotten that a new ratings' record had just been set in the U.S. thanks to the Superbowl (and two weeks of reporters jostling for any scrap of news and then pretty much only reporting on whether a player’s ankle would be healthy enough to play on—he wasn’t much of a factor in the end), albeit in a larger universe than the one the previous record-holder did it in. There were also fewer viewing, and gaming, choices back in the days of Reagan’s early years. Just look at the ratings of such past hits like “I Love Lucy,” “Bonanza,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Cosby Show,” “Dallas,” or even “American Idol” and “NCIS” in today’s season, and what they are saying comes across as idiotic and self-aggrandizing. Even by cult-hit standards, “The X-Files” comes out on top of “Lost” in terms of viewers at a time when there were fewer in the world.

    Same with figure-skating, how many people in the entire world can’t even lace up a pair of skates because the temperatures don’t get cold enough to do so in winter? And like with the most watched-TV program in the history of the U.S., the latest Superbowl, it seems that nearly 2/3rds of the population still found something else to do or watch. The last Winter Olympics couldn’t even pull in 1/5th of the available audience (and they were carried live across the U.S. from Utah in primetime), and that was before the gaming really took off.

    I still wish her well (and she is cute), though, but there are more important things in life than sports. It’s just too bad that those saving lives, feeding the planet, or educating the future aren’t looked upon with as much admiration and paid accordingly. Even the leader of the USA earns a pittance in comparison to what these athletes do. By the way, NBCU is expecting to lose at least $250 million on its coverage of the Vancouver Games due to slow ad sales and other factors.

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